The Thing About Vesper

June 15, 2013

One of the advantages of this job is seeing some incredible apps come into the App Store put together by extraordinary developers. In the beginning, Vesper seemed to be because classification. An app developed by a group of sector experts? It’s reached be incredible, right?

Well, it’s quite pretty, and it’s also carefully well considered and performed. But it does not have all the functions that the competition has, which leaves it susceptible to scrutiny, no matter how much clout the developers have on hand. Is Vesper able to live up to its towering appreciation? Let us discover.

The Elephant in the Room

Vesper was developed by John Gruber, Brent Simmons and Dave Wiskus, 3 of the larger names in the Apple sector. Gruber is such a legend in the field that his word is bond to lots of Apple fans (myself consisted of), Simmons is understood for NetNewsWire and MarsEdit, then there’s Wiskus who knows interfaces inside and out. This is a genuine dream team of developers, so the outcomes must be pretty astonishing.

As a result of their clout– or possibly in spite of that– the testimonials for Vesper have all been relatively positive. Lots of address the fatal defects discovered in the app, however brush it off as a 1.0 release and claim that they could be available in a future release. Simply read Marco Arment’s review and you’ll see how a competent author can tiptoe around the obvious and still come off as recommending the item.

The About page for Vesper is quite the statement.

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The About page for Vesper is rather the statement.

Compounding this problem, numerous of the positive testimonials that came out on launch day were from the beta testers of the product, which are all plainly detailed in the credits for the app. Q Branch– the company name for the trio– is well linked in the sector, and the list of testers mirrors that. It practically seems like no one attempts anger the gods with a slightly adverse testimonial, hoping rather to become an extremely profitable link on Daring Fireball.

This is not among those reviews. Understand that Vesper is a great app and does exactly what it aims to do exceedingly well. But exactly what’s missing is quite glaring– so much so that it drops the usefulness of the app down to almost nil.

The Core of Vesper

Vesper is a note taking app. As it specifies in the credits, “Gather Your Ideas,” which suggests a world of possibilities. Every note you create has 2 distinct benefits over the stock Notes app: Tags and pictures.

Want to add a picture to your notes? No worries, it's easy.

Want to add a photo to your notes? No worries, it’s easy.

Each note can have a photo attached to it, or the note can simply be the picture by itself (although then it’ll show Untitled Picture beside the image). This alone is a substantial advance, since there are oftens that I’ve actually wanted to take an image of something I wanted to buy in a shop, however no chance to annotate anything together with the image. It’s an easy function, however it makes sense.

Adding tags is straightforward and clear.

Adding tags is simple and clear.

Tags are the various other primary selling point for Vesper. Tags are pretty uncomplicated: label your note with a word or expression for easy searching later via the sidebar. The app has just been out for a brief time now, however if you use it regularly you must gather a large quantity of tags, which should make discovering your stuff much simpler.

What Vesper does, it does effectively.

Spectacular Design

It’s the little details that stand out in Vesper. For example, there’s an animation that goes on anytime you change between 2 states. If you open a brand-new note, the total notes listing fades to the background and a blank note appears. Hit the All Notes button to return, and the overall listing fades up into the foreground. Honestly, it’s a bit like iOS 7 appears to work.

The built-in web browser is pretty and functions well.

The built-in web browser is pretty and features well.

In addition, if you want to relocate notes up and down in series, simply drag and drop them to your selected destination. You can swipe away posts just like you can in Mailbox, and there ares an inbuilt browser that looks great.

Archiving notes is simple, and works just as it does in Mailbox.

Archiving notes is basic, and works just as it does in Mail box.

Then let us discuss the overall look of the app, which is just cool. The font option is spot-on, the colors are soft but not excessively so, and everything simply fits and looks cohesive. These things pull you in and make you wish to utilize the app more. Unfortunately, there are a few things that do not.

It’s Missing a Lot

Let us discuss the shortcomings, most notably, sync. There’s no way to sync or export your notes from Vesper. You can email or message individual notes out of the system, however otherwise, that’s it– not even file sharing via iTunes is supported.

Think about that for a minute. Vesper is $4.99, making it quite expensive for an app that takes notes, specifically when there are lots of options in the App Store that have some kind of syncing choice, usually totally free or extremely little cash. Simplenote enters your mind, which isn’t only complimentary, however syncs with its own exceptional sync system, Simperium. And exactly what it likewise means is that your notes are locked to your iPhone for life. Barring a day spent exporting notes by means of e-mail or Messages, your Vesper notes will constantly be only on your iPhone.

These are your only exporting options; there's nothing else in the main menu, either.

These are your only exporting options, there’s nothing else in the primary menu, either.

Why’d anybody launch an app with this kind of use case without a syncing choice? Arment chalks it approximately balls, but I state it’s foolish. These are 3 prominent guys with unbelievable clout and understanding of the industry. They all should understand that sync is necessary, and even if the attribute is being available in the future, there’s no sign that it’s on the horizon (unless they discussed it in a meeting that I haven’t check out yet). Stating that they wanted to ideal what they’ve and then consider sync or alternate platforms is a cop out. And perhaps their greatest competitors in the notes genre– Simplenote– is free of cost. It does not matter how lovely Vesper is when your material is locked to your gadget for life.

In speaking to this with my wife– someone who’s just tangentially connected to the iPhone world, and only because of me– the first thing she stated was, “What if you get a new phone or break your old one?” Excellent concern. Although backing up to iCloud is practical, I have had concerns with it myself, as have others. To my wife, syncing her notes with an additional device is not that crucial, and it mightn’t be to you, either. But losing them entirely, well that’s another concern. My notes are essential to me, and that’s why I am not willing to trust them to a system that’s such evident neglect for my content that they will not offer me a way to back it up or transfer it to a new device other than iCloud.

Markdown support? Nope.

Markdown support? Nope.

The 2nd issue is not really crucial, however numerous reviewers have actually called it out because of its apparent noninclusion: Markdown. Considering that John Gruber invented Markdown, you ‘d think that it’d be an option in Vesper, but it isn’t. Some are calling this the dumbest idea considering that the Palm Pre, however I do not think it’s completion of the world. Markdown is a plain-text format, and so you can still compose notes in Markdown if you want to, they just don’t get translated later. And since there’s nowhere for this text to go anyways, that’s not a big misstep in my book.

Final Thoughts

Vesper is a quite, well-designed app that permits you to take a note, add a picture and tag it with something meaningful. To that end, it works faultlessly, as need to be expected from the Q Branch dream team. If you work along the property that an app need to do something well, then Vesper strikes that out of the park and into the parking lot. However its shortcomings are excellent, and should not be disregarded.

The other day, I got up in the middle of the night after having an outstanding dream. It was so dazzling that I thought I might be able to turn the concept into a future book, so I wanted to take a note so I might’ve a record of those thoughts later on. In my exhausted state, I pulled out my iPhone and looked at two apps sitting alongside each various other on my home display that can do the job equally well: Vesper and Simplenote. I opened one up, worked out 250 words of principles and concepts, then put the phone down and returned to sleep. The next early morning, I switched on my Mac and there was my note sitting happily in nvALT, synced there by Simperium and Simplenote. Now I can flesh out my idea further and turn it into something excellent.

The thing about Vesper is that it’s excellent to use and sure is quite. However if my notes are trapped on my iPhone, it’s basically useless to me.